There were more than a few product announcements at Shopify Unite this year, all of which were exciting in their own way, and a few of which are game changers for the world of commerce.
However, what I can’t stop thinking about is the larger role Shopify is playing in the future of commerce, and by extension, more broadly the future of entrepreneurship and work.
Commerce’s Future – Shopify Unite 2017
Tobi shared some really interesting data points during his kickoff keynote and while some of it seems scary (the drop in entrepreneurship since 2008) they also paint a picture of great opportunity.
There is a tectonic shift currently underway in the world of commerce and this is allowing for much needed change in the industry.
I was reading recently that almost 40% of millennials in the USA are doing some kind of freelance work. This is not insignificant. The trend also shows this number increasing over the next 10 years.
We are moving to a world where work as we know it is changing. Commerce platforms, Shopify being one of the largest, are building economies that enable this future of work to exist. Shopify Unite kicked off with a mini documentary putting this story front and centre.
Closer to Frictionless Commerce
As someone who started my biggest company to date in the last great recession, I’m familiar with the various forms of ‘friction’ that entrepreneurs encounter on their journeys. Depending on your industry, this friction is being removed at a wonderfully fast rate. Since I’m so close to the world of commerce, I see it most prevalent there.
While I’m mostly more focused on the enterprise commerce market (larger, more complex merchants), I do love that Shopify is on a mission to make building commerce businesses easier.
I love it because this means we’re enabling more passionate, smart people to build businesses of all shapes and sizes. This is needed as we move to a world where artificial intelligence is seemingly around the corner.
I’ve written before that I would like to see commerce entrepreneurs solve better problems. The only way that I see this happening is if the friction to build businesses continues to be removed.
I know that in the short term this is going to lead to more people selling more soon-to-be garbage, but I’m also hopeful it will mean more people learning how to build and grow businesses.
Lots of Announcements and A HUGE Impact
Seeing the impact of the information shared at an event like Shopify Unite is sometimes difficult. It is especially true in the case of this event since they announced so damn much.
I write this on my flight back to Canada, trying to see ‘around the corner’ to the impact many of Shopify’s new product features. A few are real standouts, something I’ll write separately about and link that post here once it’s live.
Shopify’s Biggest Product is Shopify
Shopify has many products that they are now constantly improving upon. The biggest being the company itself and the mission they’re on. This is the product I’m most interested in, since it’s the platform the rest of them are built upon. This is also the product that has the biggest impact on the future of commerce, since that future is far more about people than software.
Major props to Shopify’s product teams for iterating on their platform so effectively!
I can only hope the rest of the commerce platforms take notice that this is how you build product AND ecosystem. They go hand-in-hand.